I've seen Tibetan monks before getting speared in the neck by other monks....WOW CRAZY!!
It's amazing how one man can stand his ground and stay calm while 4 other dudes are pushing a spear into his throat. I always wondered how someone remains so still in such circumstances.
This past weekend I put myself in that position.
First off, I will say that I love the art of tattooing. And it really is an art like no other. Its amazing what kind of pieces can be created with a tattoo gun these days.
I have loved and been slightly obsessed with tattoos since the age of 8. My father had a friend that he worked with who had a large dragon tattoo on his back. One day when I was 8 I went out our back door to go for a swim in da pool when I was AW struck by a beautiful sight. A brilliantly large piece of body art. Since that day I knew that I was destined to be part of the body modification community. Almost every year since that day I have begged my mother to get a tattoo.
Funny part is, I didn't get my first tat until I was 21. I made a deal with my mom that I could get pierced but I couldn't get a tattoo until my 21st birthday. Well I held true to that deal. I did get quite a few holes stabbed into my body but I held off on the body art. For my 21st birthday my parents (being the amazing people that they are) paid for me to go to New York City. I went down with the intention of going to the NYC Tattoo convention at the Roseland Ballroom to get my first (of many) tattoo.
I'd like to just say that I'm glad I waited or I would have gotten something stupid tattooed
on my person.
I ended up getting some Kanji on my inner arms that say "Beyond Language" which for me represents what drumming means to me....as well as what the Kanji means to me.
This past weekend I added to my ongoing collection with a new 3/4 sleeve on my right arm. The image is of a traditional Japanese warrior in a plain kimono. It's a night scene and he's holding a large lantern with falling Japanese Maple leaves all around!! Yeah...I know!!!! WICKED!!!
Six hours under the gun. Six hours of potential growth. How did I manage? YOGA!!! I used my breath to calm me down. I've found that recently, when faced with extenuating circumstances, that I can use my Yoga to keep me in the moment. Whether it be dealing with getting thousands of timy needles jammed into my skin for 6 hours or even just being out in the cold pumping my gas. The breath is a powerful thing if we can learn to harness it. For the tattoo I just kept my eyes closed and concentrated on taking deep and full breathes. Crazy enough...That shit works!!
Is there anything that Yoga can't do???
I think a lot of the process is just giving in to the situation. I knew that, no matter what, I was there until the outline was done. As soon as I came to terms with that I found that I became very centered and calm. It wasn't until around the last hour (when I knew I was almost done) that I started to get "antsy" and had a hard time centering. I also think that my body couldn't really take much more trauma.
All in all it was an enriching experience and the end definitely justified the means.
The power of Yoga never ceases to amaze me.